Monday, March 16, 2020
Beyond Pandemic, Beyond Mental Health
In times of pandemic, will you like what you become?
Daniel Defoe reflects, in his journal of the 1665 London plague year:
“There was a time when everyone’s safety lay so near them they had no room to pity the distresses of others ... The danger of immediate death to ourselves took away all bonds of love, all concern for one another.”
In Italy today, where over 2,000 people already died from Covid-19, hospitals have become overwhelmingly “full.”
Due to their limited capacity and resources to treat the current ballooning number of Covid-19 patients, they’ve become “selective” of who to treat.
“Elderly people are literally left to die alone, abandoned, untended, untreated,” says a sobbing doctor.
It’s in reference to the recent hospital policy in Italy of prioritizing younger people for admission and treatment.
Yale historian, Frank Snowden, observes that pandemics do hold up a “mirror to society.”
He says that it forces us to ask basic questions:
What is possible imminent death trying to tell us? Where is God in all this? What’s our responsibility to one another?
New York Times writer David Brooks drives home the essential message beyond the pandemic ...
“Pandemics kill compassion, too ... It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to take steps to fight the moral disease that accompanies the physical one.”